The Essential Guide to Smorgasburg LA

Picnic tables with umbrellas at Smorgasburg LA
Megan Graney

Smorgasburg LA, the West Coast outpost of the Brooklyn-born food market, became a weekend go-to for Angelenos almost instantly after opening in June 2016. It’s easy to see why: at home in the 5-acre ROW DTLA space just southwest of the Arts District, the fair serves up all the variety of a big pop-up food festival — without all the crowds. In addition to up to 50 food stalls, you'll find a beer garden, artisan vendors, and a few shady picnic areas to enjoy lunch. The market is family-friendly and offers food and drink for almost every palate and diet.

Getting There

Admission to Smorgasburg LA is free, and the market is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A towering parking garage next to ROW DTLA, accessible via Alameda and Central, offers almost 5,000 spaces, free for two hours without validation. Cyclists can bike to Smorgasburg, which hosts a complimentary bike valet and a convenient Metro Bike Share pop-up station. Although there isn’t a train station walkable to ROW DTLA, a few bus routes, including 7th Street’s, stop within a couple of blocks of Smorgasburg and run every few minutes on Sundays.

Food

  • Bumblecrumpets: Finish your Sunday lunch with a sweet macaron from Bumblecrumpets —choose from clever flavors-of-the-week like yellow cake, Lucky Charms, and blueberry Pop -Tart.
  • Donut Friend: Indulge in vegan versions of your favorite donuts, including a good-enough-for-omnivores strawberry shortcake rendition, complete with non-dairy whipped topping.
  • Goa Taco: This stand is home of the paratha taco, where fillings like pork belly and shiitake mushroom are stuffed into a fluffy tortilla-croissant hybrid of a shell.
  • Mama Musubi: Hand-held rice balls with toppings like spam and spicy tuna make for the perfect street food.
  • Plant Burger: Vegetarians can find refuge from all the meat-centric stalls at Plant Burger, which grills up high-tech vegetarian burgers that look remarkably like the real thing. Pair with crispy sweet potato fries.
  • Rooster Republic: Combos of Nashville hot fried chicken and Southern-style sides (coleslaw, mac and cheese) make this booth a favorite for comfort food.
  • Shrimp Daddy: Not only is the Garlic Butter Shrimp Pineapple Boat incredibly Instagrammable, it’s also incredibly tasty. This booth gathers a line of hungry patrons before noon, so pop in early to avoid a wait.
  • The Jolly Oyster: In addition to super fresh, just-shucked Kamamoto and Jolly oysters, this Smorg seafood booth serves up a scallop ceviche and a sea urchin dish.
  • Ugly Drum: It’s tough to walk by the Ugly Drum’s aromatic smoking pit without stopping for a taste of the unbeatable smoked pastrami with all the fixin’s. Make this an early course in your Sunday meal — they’re only open until the smoked meat sells out.

Drinks

  • Beer Garden: A rotating selection of a few draught beers, and red and white wine are on offer at this the cozy beer garden. In an effort to keep Smorgasburg family-friendly, alcoholic beverages cannot be taken into the main market area, but hungry adults may bring food into the beer garden to enjoy with a drink. 
  • Lade Slush Co: All-natural slushies—in flavors like pink lemonade and pineapple—draw thirsty crowds at Smorgasburg, especially on hot days.
  • PopdUp: This all-natural sweetener company sells cute jars of house-peeled, house-brewed, and house-bottled iced tea and juice.
  • Stand Coffee: With its straightforward menu, Stand Coffee’s stall remains one of Smorgasburg LA’s most popular first stops for visitors seeking their morning jolt.
  • Young Bud: Enjoy a colorful, flower-topped, boba matcha green tea while shopping or scouting out your meal from the market’s popular tea and matcha vendor.
Crowds at food stands at Smorgasburg Los Angeles
Megan Graney 

Shopping & Lifestyle

  • Hannah Frost Jewelry: Showcasing delicate, handmade pieces that are just trendy enough to appeal to fashionistas and classics alike, Frost’s booth is a standout among the Smorgasburg jewelers.
  • HeadBand Apparel: The HeadBand tent features hand-printed original designs applied to neutral-colored tees and tanks for both men and women. All tops sell for about $20.
  • Plant Puns: Stock up on some of the tiniest succulents you’ve ever seen, each in pots handpainted with kitschy phrases like “so fresh and so green” or “can’t touch this;” the plants will run you $12-20.
  • Promised Land: This mobile eyewear shop, specializing in new and vintage sunglasses, sells its wares from a beautifully restored retro bus.
  • Rx Candles: Indulge in a bit of aromatherapy at the Rx Candles booth, which sells 100% soy candles in a variety of sizes and scents.

Pro Tips

The market is busiest between noon and 1 p.m. each week, so either plan an early trip or wait for the lunchtime crowd to clear to avoid lines. Carry cash to best enjoy Smorgasburg LA; many of the vendors prefer it and a few don’t have credit card capacity at all. Pets are not welcome at the Smorg, so be sure to leave Fido at home for your day of sampling and shopping.